File(s) under permanent embargo
Hacktivists against terrorism: a cultural criminological analysis of anonymous' anti-IS campaigns
journal contributionposted on 2018-01-01, 00:00 authored by Imogen RichardsImogen Richards, Mark WoodMark Wood
This article uses a cultural criminology approach to examine cyber campaigns waged by the hacker collective, Anonymous, against the jihadist organization, Islamic State (IS). Employing Jeff Ferrell and Mike Presdee’s theory as a conceptual framework, it examines how Anonymous’ anti-IS campaigns have been constructed and shaped by characteristics of the late-modern mediascape, including its affordances for carnivalesque transgression, reflexive media, and crowdsourced politicization. Through reference to key statements and actions made by Anonymous immediately following IS-related attacks in Paris during 2015, our analysis examines high profile social and video media produced by the hacktivist collective, and relevant commentary from news media, experts, and industry representatives. With its focus on resistance and the ‘politics of meaning’, we argue that cultural criminology has much to offer in unpacking the emotional appeal, craft, public identity, and social representations of Anonymous as a hacktivist collective.